College Unbound: An Interview with Lizzy Brown7:30 AM
Sometimes you meet these people who are so very magnetic, with a personality that matches and challenges yours at the same time, with a strong voice and a big heart. Such is the young lady I interviewed. Besides being just plain fun to talk to, Lizzy Brown has been more than a big sister to me. And so, after recalling the long emails we shared on the tough topic of college and post-graduation life, I thought I'd share her with you all. I love this girl. You will too.
You’re a smart girl. How important is education to you?
Education is indeed very important to me. (And thank you for the compliment. :))
If education is important, what compelled you—having promise of scholarships and success in academic settings—to even think of forgoing college?
Aside from the various offers and assurances of scholarships and all the falderal that comes with that, I found that while college has suited many people and would have suited some facets of my own personality, my loyalty to my family and my conscience before my God took me in a different direction. I found the “college experience” to be unnecessary in furthering my own interests and pursuits in the way that I felt was pertinent.
What personally are you missing in skipping college?
Honestly, one cannot truly miss what one has not had. There are no assurances what my life would have been like in any one situation—but, speaking broadly, perhaps what I am missing is the freedom of being my own person, a free agent—footloose and fancy-free—and having no responsibilities. That’s half the philosophy of college life, as it is. Taking on true adult responsibilities can really stink sometimes, no matter how good it is for your character.
If you were honest with yourself, do you think you have holes in your education because you didn’t step foot on campus?
No. I find the education and input that I need in my own home and circle—with my parents and with my close friends. I am content with my elementary and supplementary education AND myself. My parents are proud of me. My friends are proud of me. One doesn’t need a piece of paper to prove what they know—it’s simply that they know it.
You’ve spent almost four years already at home. By that time you could be finishing up your degree. What replaced typical college for you during these years?
Life! Indeed, life itself replaced what some might call the “play-acting” version of just that. Some practice for it in college classes and dorm rooms and some people just live it. I am, happily, one of the latter. Life isn’t for practicing—it’s for doing, being, seeing, and living. One doesn’t need a college education for that, and though some might feel otherwise, I do not.
What have you been able to do at home that you wouldn’t in college?
Besides laying on the couch watching old black and white movies and cleaning out cartons of ice cream daily? (laughs) No, but seriously, I have be able to pursue my writing, and have finished several stories and one full book, and have long been about breeding, raising, training and selling the best horses this side of Washington state. (I mention only that territory out of complete modesty, I assure you. ;)) I have pursued my artwork, and have found ample time to study history, archaeology and geology—all of which I have had long-standing interests in.
What are the biggest benefits of home vs. campus in your mind?
Benefits. I guess staying home has given me the chance to honor my parents by serving along side them both in my dad’s business and running the land, neither being an easy task for the two of them alone. They needed me and I needed to learn a sight more responsibility. And I can study just as much at home as I could at college.
What long-term effects of staying home do you foresee—on your family, on your church, on your community?
I see a longer life for both my parents. While not the primary reason for my not attending college, my parents’ health and age are pretty darn good ones. As a late child, I feel a certain responsibility to both of them and the life we three share together. I am also able to serve those around me, outside of my own family. College, especially the distance of those offering scholarships, would have hindered my ability to be there for my friends and extended church-family whenever they needed me, which is something I felt very important.
What to you are the biggest lies or hurdles that young women face in these decisions? How did you address them personally?
I see the expectations of family and friends to be a big hurdle for most girls. That, and the inability of said girls to put those expectations aside to do what God wants rather than what certain family members want. I was blessed to have a family that supported whatever I chose to do. While my grandmother pushed very hard for my having a college education, I know that the biggest thing for her was that I be myself and do what I knew to be right—so even she, in her own way, supported my decision. In the end, I chose what my Lord and Savior wanted for me. And I’m not in the least sorry.
Need more Lizzy? Check out Tinker Girl's Blog and leave her a note. Read more about her college decisions HERE. And make sure you browse through her illustrations before going on your merry way. You'll be well-rewarded.